One Man’s Trash . . .

The closets are overflowing, your two car garage won’t even accommodate your mower and you are strongly feeling the “urge to purge.” Don’t kick it to the curb, sell it at a yard sale!
Sales are a lot of work, so make it worth your time and effort. Look carefully in the attic, closets, kid’s rooms, garage and any storage areas that you might have. If you doubt that you have enough to make a good sale, invite the neighbors or members of your family to join in. The larger your display, the larger the crowd you will draw!
You will need to have a small bank available to make change. Keep the size of your bank to a minimum and keep it in a safe place. In the past few summers we have seen a growing trend towards teams of thieves targeting garage sales. While one distracts, the other grabs the cash….. and they are gone! Try using an apron to keep your money on you, or assign one person to the cash box and make sure they don’t let it out of their sight.
Price your items to sell. This isn’t Bloomingdale’s . . . it’s your yard. You can hope to recover 15-30 percent of retail on new items or those in good/used condition, 10 percent for worn items. It is often a good idea to offer items like pots and pans, towels, or sets of dishes in groups or box lots at one price for all. Don’t hesitate to set out incomplete sets of glasses, silverware and dishes. Mismatched vintage tableware is becoming quite popular, or you may find someone who needs replacement pieces for their like set.
Protect your property. If your home sits back from the street you may want to rope off or block your driveway to the main flow of traffic and only allow it to be used for large item pick-up.
Antiques and collectibles are a great draw to a sale, but keep high priced items to a minimum. Half refinished tables, chairs in need of reupholstering, and pieces that can only be saved by painting sell well, as do small collectibles. Just remember, overly ambitious pricing will most likely result in hauling everything back in the house at the end of the day.
Advertising can be the deal breaker when it comes to the success or failure of your sale. Make it simple. Place, time, date, and a few categories of the items you are selling, such as: furniture, antiques, children’s clothing, or tools. Don’t go into detail and don’t ramble! It runs up your advertising costs and few people will take the time to read it. Check with your neighborhood paper as many offer ads at special garage sale rates. Social media is a good way to get out the word. But know this: There are many people who are not on Facebook, or even online. The best advertising is a mix of social media and your area newspapers.
Signs directing people to your sale are a must. When my company liquidates the contents of a home I often ask our customers how they heard about us. Six out of ten people tell me they saw our signs. With your signs, as with your ads, keep it simple. GARAGE SALE, date, address, time, and an arrow pointing which way to turn. If your sale is Saturday, get your signs out by Wednesday, especially if you live near a highly traveled street. I have discovered some great Saturday sales while sitting in traffic on Wednesday. Until next time….Linda

Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the valuation of estates and may be reached at 317-258-7835 or